SSFC debates, approves Wunk Sheek budget
Representative Zaakir Abdul-wahid debated an amendment to decrease Wunk Sheek’s budget at Monday’s Student Service Finance Committee meeting.Image By: Leah Voskuil
Representatives on the Student Services Finance Committee debated Wunk Sheek’s proposed budget at Monday’s meeting.
Members of the committee expressed concern over the amount of money allocated to the group’s 2017-’18 On Wisconsin Spring Powwow. The group requested $19,000 for honorarium, speakers and performers at the event, more than any other group in the General Student Services Fund. Vice Chair David Morel proposed an amendment to decrease this line-item to $10,000, the maximum amount currently given for honorarium.
Morel stressed that SSFC needed to hold Wunk Sheek to the same standards as other groups. He stated concerns of cost per student, ratio of students to members of the public that attended the event and “fiscal responsibility.”
In opposition to the amendment, Representative Zaakir Abdul-Wahid said that while the overall amount requested was larger, the compensation for each person participating was “significantly smaller.”
“Each person really does make up what the effort is, and without a few drummers and without a few speakers it's less satisfactory and not an embodiment of what the powwow is supposed to be,” Abdul-Wahid said.
Secretary Kyle Watter countered Abdul-Wahid by saying that the group has done a great job of finding sponsors for the event in the past and could continue to do so.
Ultimately, the group voted to decrease the honorarium budget. In doing so, they proportionately decreased other powwow line items such as hotel fees and food costs.
Although they decreased powwow funding, SSFC voted to increase funding for other core programs like Dialogue and Discussion and Native American Heritage Month.
“I think it would be best if [we] helped engage their other core programing, allowing them to fulfill those to a better capacity,” Rep. Samuel Park said.
After debate and amendments, Wunk Sheek’s total budget for 2017-’18 was approved at $61,430.
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